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I'd like to be able to use a keyboard shortcut to type special characters (characters that can't be found on my keyboard) such as the £ (pound) symbol, which I can get on a keyboard with a number pad by typing Alt+0163. Unfortunately, on my netbook, I don't have a number pad.

How then do I get special characters, using the keyboard, without using charmap?

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1  
shift + 3 ;) .. –  Matt Ellen Oct 20 '10 at 23:04

7 Answers 7

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Often times, your netbook might have a function key which will change 7,8,9,U,I,O,J,K,L, and M into a number pad. You can use these to do Alt+ combinations. Alternatively, open the Character Map (Under Accessories in the start menu) to select individual characters.

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Thanks, I'll check this out and let you guys know if it works... –  Ryan Shripat Oct 21 '10 at 21:12
    
My laptop does not have a numeric keyboard or numlock - apparently Lenovo decided it's a thing of the past? So, in hunting through CHARMAP program I can't find the Euro symbol. Any clue where it is, or how else to type the ALT keycodes without a numeric keypad? –  Jay Imerman Apr 1 at 17:26
    
@JayImerman Search for U+20AC in the charmap (they're in order, it's almost at the very bottom) –  Darth Android Apr 1 at 17:37

You can use some macro program like AutoHotkey to bind it to specified hotkeys.

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..interesting... –  Ryan Shripat Oct 21 '10 at 21:13
1  
Care to show some examples? –  Ivo Flipse Oct 22 '10 at 11:21
    
sry, haven't used it, yet ;) –  schöppi Oct 22 '10 at 11:35

If you have a Windows operating system [such as Vista or 7 -- I'm not sure about XP] then you can use the Character Map. I actually discovered it by accident. Before then I thought my future laptop [that I plan to purchase] would require a numeric keypad, but now I guess I won't be needing it, thanks to the Character Map [I have Windows Vista, but plan to upgrade to Windows 7].

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You could change your keyboard layout to United States–International. It takes a little getting used to, but not so much as I had thought. Then you would make the £ symbol by depressing 4 (not on the number pad) + Shift + Right Alt. Also, if you type diacritical marks often, this layout is especially useful.

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worth a shot - might be the best route! –  Ryan Shripat Oct 21 '10 at 21:13

I've been searching for weeks, and I finally figured out that I can enter the UNICODE (not ascii) code for a symbol, highlight it, and press + x in most microsoft programs (office suite, also google's chrome. It is definitely software-specific, but it works in word and excel. TO make it even faster, I created an "autocorrect" entry in those progams to replace "/b6" with ¶, and "/a7" with §. good to go.

(I write for a judge, and I need to enter the above paragraph, section symbols 75 times each day. I run Win8 on a Lenovo Yoga 13 netbook (first computer without numpad), and I was lost without the alt+numpad access to ASCII set until now!)

peace! http://us.generation-nt.com/answer/how-do-i-insert-ascii-characters-without-numeric-key-pad-help-117414921.html

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It depends on your hardware, your operating system and the application you are using.

Some notebook PCs have a way of simulating a numeric keypad by using additional meta keys (Fn, Ctrl, Alt etc)

Some operating systems support alternative keyboard layouts or input method editors. For example I have a Windows PC with a UK keyboard (and hence no problem with £) in the system notification area I have a keyboard icon from which I can choose UK or UK-extended keyboards. The extended one lets me compose additional accented characters. Maybe there is an extended keyboard for your locale that supports a key combination for £.

Finally applications such as MS Word have their own means of inputting special characters - see the application help.

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  1. The keypad on a laptop is located on keys

M-J-K-L-U-I-O-7-8-9
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

  1. You must engage the keypad. Find and hold the fn key and press the Num Lock key. On my laptop it is located on the Scroll Lock key. A little led bulb should light to show that the keypad function is engaged.
  2. Now you can type in the alt symbols ALT + Fn + MJ89 = ½ symbol
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